March 10, 2006, Newsletter Issue #7: Altimeter or Aneroid?

Tip of the Week

Altimeter or aneroid? The question sounds like the opening line at a science fiction convention. However, there's nothing fictional about weather forecasting or about barometers. Besides the old-style mercury barometer, you have two basic choices when it comes to this essential weather instrument (the only equipment more vital is a wireless thermometer).

ANEROID BAROMETER: the nautical wood-finish wall hanging or free-standing decorative weather station instrument that operates on air pressure rather than liquid. It's also portable--the altimeter variety may sound familiar, since it's most often used in aircraft. You can place it outside for accurate weather sensing, or simply keep it inside to check indoor air pressure and limited outdoor readings. Most ideal for home weather watching, and decorative as well. Perfect if you just want to check up-to-the-minute conditions rather than predict the weather, though a journal will give you an idea of the current trends.

DIGITAL BAROMETER/ALTIMETER: Handy for travel. Readings can be downloaded to a computer, as opposed to aneroid readings. Can be configured to altimeter or barograph display depending on what altitiude you're monitoring. Can provide a simple weather forecast based on barometric readings over the last 24 hours. Ideal for weather watching at home or on the road, and combo units can even track wind direction. For serious weather station enthusiasts.

Digital or aneroid? Altimeter or aneroid? Why not both? This question is easier to solve than the Star Trek/Star Wars debate.

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